Incandescent Light Bulbs are History as of 1/1/2014


Hi all you Home Automation enthusiasts out there!  I wanted to make sure that you were aware of the upcoming deadline for incandescent light bulbs. On January 1st, 2014, it will be illegal to manufacture or import 40 and 60 watt incandescent bulbs in the US.  This signifies the end of the three year phase out of incandescent bulbs which started with 100 Watt bulbs, followed by 75 Watt bulbs a year later, in addition to various other types of energy inefficient lights. This will basically be it for incandescent’s now, they will be available until supplies run out across the country, but after that, no more except for a few lower wattages.

The reason for the phase-out is that incandescent bulbs are very inefficient when it comes to energy usage and the process they use to create light.  Sorry Mr.Edison!  Basically, incandescent bulbs heat an element inside called a filament to the point at which it is so hot that it glows, emitting light of a certain luminescence, based upon the wattage.

Here is a quick example why it was time for them to go.  I went to Home Depot last month and bought a 9 Watt LED bulb that gives off the equivalent of a 65 Watt incandescent bulb.  Now this LED will cost me  quite a bit more to buy, I think it was about $15.00, but it will last approximately 22 years if used for 3 hrs a day!  Thats a pretty huge return on your $15 investment, but don’t forget about the long term savings in electricity.  This LED only uses 9 Watts of power compared to a 65 Watt incandescent, just simple math alone makes it over 7 times more energy efficient.  Plus it is also dimmable as well, so can be used with dimmable z-wave switches too!  Be sure to read my next post in that regard, coming out in a week or so.

If you would like to read more of the specifics of the final phase out deadline, here is an article from CE Pro magazine, a post entitled “Inefficient Incandescent Light Bulb Phase Out Complete”  from the Light Directory newsletter,or you can read one of our posts of the article on our social sites, listed above, just do a search for the word, “incandescent”.  Make sure you either stock up on those incandescent’s or contact us to help you make the transition to LED’s or fluorescents.  We are more than happy to help – also, keep an eye pealed for my upcoming post on using Z-Wave switches for hardwired lighting and what switches work with different load types, I hope you will find it interesting as well as helpful.

HA World Online – “automating YOUR world”

Kelly R. Foster – HA World

What is Home Automation – Z-Wave Lighting Control (Blog Post 8)

Blog Z-Wave Lighting Control

Lighting control, as we discussed last post is probably the simplest and most common manner of entry into the home automation market for most residential users. Plug-in lighting and appliance control is easily the quickest way for newcomers to get into controlling their lights, for Z-Wave as well as for almost ANY protocol or type of automation.

However, plug-in lights or lamps and plug-in appliances like TV’s, ceiling fans or air conditioners are obviously only a small percentage of the devices that are begging to be controlled by your home automation system. What about all the hardwired lights in every room of your home? Some are in your living room ceiling or on the wall as sconces, some are in your kitchen and might be fluorescent lights or maybe recessed lights, even under cabinet task or ambiance lighting. Don’t forget your bedroom or dining room which may have dimmers or ceiling fans too! There are many, many scenarios for the control of hardwired installed lighting in the home, and Z-wave is the perfect application to control these systems, very easily and affordably as well.

You do need to have some electrical wiring experience if you want to add this type of control to your home, but it is definitely a good place for a DIY er to begin if you have that kind of experience, and Z-Wave devices are certainly a good candidate for the DIY’er because of the inherent wireless properties of the protocol. This doesn’t mean you can’t hire an electrician to do the install, alot of people do hire a professional electrician to install the switches but quite often the homeowners make the purchase of the varying devices according to their uses and applications by themselves. An example of this is if they want to bring in their electrician to replace all the standard switches and in their living rooms that currently control the low voltage or LED recessed can lighting with z-wave controllable ones, they will go ahead and buy switches that are capable of controlling that type of lighting load ahead of time, ready for him to install when he makes his next service call.

Lighting and the types of loads is going to be my next topic of discussion as lighting loads are very often where the most problems occur when it comes to DIY installations. Please check back soon as I continue my series on Home Automation, and specifically on the applications of Z-wave to lights and appliances.

Kelly R. Foster – HA World

What is Home Automation – Applications of Z-Wave (Blog Post 6)


Hi and welcome back to the HA World Online Blog!

To continue the story of my foray into HA, last time I was humming and hawing over the cost and labor of all this new wiring to add in these new lights for my remodel. Over the next day or two, I happened to read an article in a magazine I had just subscribed too. It was an article in “Old-House Journal” magazine about how Black and Decker was getting into the remote lighting control market with a new product they called the “Freewire” system. These devices were supposed to be able to give you remote control over plug-in lights and appliances, no wiring needed!

Wow, I thought, wouldn’t that be a great solution to my problem. A subsequent advertisement in the magazine said that the Freewire products were supposed to be sold at Home Depot – so I headed to my local store to check them out. However, to my chagrin the salespeople at Home Depot did not know anything about the product, except for one fellow who told me about a company he had heard of that made something similar called “smarthome” products. He told me to google the word “smarthome” on the Internet which I did and as I am sure most of you have already guessed what came up, was, you got it – Smarthome. The next day I called up their customer service department, learned a bit about “X-10” and had an inline module, a transceiver and a wireless wall switch on order.

Bottom line is this, I never did have to run that crazy amount of switch leg wiring, in fact, I installed another pair of lights (dialed into a different unit code of course) and used X-10 to control both pairs of my new lights, remotely and very easily!

That was my first experience with home automation and remote lighting control.  In this instance I used X-10 instead of Z-Wave. Each of the different protocols have quite a few similarities, you just use combinations of the appropriate devices to solve similar problems. There are even bridges between some of these different technologies, HomeSeer and Mi Casa Verde each make a software solution, and nowadays there are becoming alot more options in terms of a central controller or gateway that can “talk” to all the protocols, but that’s a topic for another day, and, although I do want to get into the differences between each of these protocols, for the next couple posts I want to delve into some of the more common applications of the Z-Wave protocol.

Please join us next time as we do just that, we look forward to having you as a reader and as always, thank you for letting us “automate YOUR world”.  Please also visit our store for great deals on Z-Wave and X-10 products.  Oh btw, we are running a great sale on the MiCasa Verde Z-Wave, Insteon & X-10 Home Controllers right now, just click on either the following  links, Vera3 or VeraLite, and you will go direct to the product page for each of them – the coupon code for 10% off is added automatically, free shipping too!  All you have to do is pay!

Kelly R. Foster – HA World


What is Home Automation – Common Applications of Z-Wave (Blog Post 5)


OK, last time I talked about “The History of Z-Wave” and its developer, Sigma Designs. In upcoming posts, I want to start leading you into exploring some of the applications of Z-wave, and how it is used and utilized by consumers, but today I want to share with you how I got into this awesome field to begin with.  I think it is quite an interesting story – of course I would, it is MY story after all, but I hope some of you find it interesting too!

Remote control of lights and appliances, or lighting control, I have found, is probably the easiest and most fun reason that people seem to get into home automation. That is why I got into it. I was remodeling my living room and wanted to add some wall sconces to supplement the new skylights I was installing. I planned to wire them into a brand new circuit and they were going to be installed above my fireplace mantel, one on each side. Problem was, there was no room for the switches because of the way the framing was done around the fireplace. The switches would have to be in such an awkward location they were going to be almost unusable. The only plausible location for the switches was going to have to be on the opposite side of the room. Now, because I had vaulted ceilings, there was no attic space (so much for a direct run!) and so this so-called “plausible” location for a switch meant running the wires all around the perimeter of the room, approximately 65’-70’ of wire, in addition to the new line wires from the breaker. It seemed like a huge cost (not to mention alot of work) just for a wall switch and that would have been just for a two way circuit! It would have been nice to have a three way, except that would have made it even more costly in terms of time AND money!

So, what should I do? Well that seems like a good place to leave you until next week, when I look forward to continuing the story of my first foray into Home Automation.

Until next time, thanks for letting us “automate YOUR world!

Kelly R. Foster – HA World

Welcome to the opening post of the HA World Online Blog!

HA World

Welcome to the HA World Online Blog!

Home Automation is the way of the future and even after over 30 years of sales in the United States and Canada, Home Automation is still a fledgling industry! HA World Online is the official website of HA World and we are proud to be a certified retailer of Home Automation and Home/Personal Security products representing many popular brands of products from major manufacturers such as General Electric, Mi Casa Verde, X10 Pro USA, Jasco Products, Leviton, Elk, Honeywell and Kwikset. Coming soon we will be adding manufacturers such as Lutron, HAI, Powerline Control Systems (PCS), Yale, and Shlage/Nexia.

Z-wave and X-10 are our most popular products but we will soon be offering HA technologies compatible with Zigbee and UPB as well. Some of our other popular products include brands such as the VeraLite and Vera3 home control devices by Mi Casa Verde, X-10 Powerhouse, X-10 Activehome and X-10 Pro by X-10 (USA) Ltd, Vizia RF products from Leviton, Lutron’s Radio RA2 brand and many more.

We would like to invite others to read our blog and leave comments in order to discuss various avenues of the home automation industry. It is our hope here at HA World to shed some light on this innovative and exciting industry to as many individuals and companies as possible.

HA World Online – Automating your World!

Kelly R. Foster – HA World